The Supreme Court on Tuesday reprimanded the governments of West Bengal and Uttarakhand for naming rape complainants, including minors, in affidavits.
The two state governments named the complainants in affidavits they filed on the compensation they paid them under the Nirbhaya Fund. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was hearing a petition on the matter filed by advocate Nipun Saxena, Live Law reported.
In its order, the Supreme Court said it was “highly objectionable and contrary to law and amounts to a criminal offence”. “You cannot be acting like a peon,” the bench said in court. “Do you know it [naming rape complainants] is an offence, you can be prosecuted under the Indian Penal Code?”
The bench has summoned the joint secretary of the Women and Child Department of West Bengal and the additional secretary (home) of Uttarakhand – the officials who filed the affidavits – and asked them to explain the mistake. They need to be present in court at the next hearing three weeks later, Live Law reported.
The amicus curiae in the case, senior advocate Indira Jaising, said “the whole victim protection regime has become vulnerable”. The bench did not let the advocates on record withdraw the affidavits and said it will remain with the court in a sealed cover.